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Fred Samuel, 'One of the Good Guys,' Dies at 84

March 10, 2008 — St. John residents shared tears and laughter Monday as they remembered Fred Samuel, the kindly proprietor and namesake of Fred's Bar and Restaurant.
Samuel, 84, died Sunday at Roy L. Schneider Hospital after a long illness.
"He was a regular guy, a man of the soil," said former St. John Administrator Julien Harley. "He'll be remembered as a nice, kindhearted person."
His daughter, Faye Samuel, said he was a hardworking man who opened the bar "a long time ago."
Fred's is a place where a cross section of St. John goes to dance.
"Everybody in the community would flood to Fred's," Lonnie Willis said.
She remembers eating breakfast at Fred's when she first came to St. John in 1975. The traditional-music nights at Fred's were Wednesdays and Fridays, when Willis and her husband, Albert, frequently went dancing.
Fred's remained true to its local roots, she said
"It's a living symbol that you can keep your local flavor," Willis said.
Genevieve Moorehead described Samuel as "a nice, easygoing person." Her husband, the late Sen. Theovald Moorehead, started Mooie's Bar, and her mother was Samuel's godmother.
Genevieve's daughter and Mooie's current proprietor, Theodora Moorehead, called Samuel a non-nonsense person.
"He was very family- and community-oriented," she said.
Sis Frank said she'll "miss him terribly."
"We used to have a million laughs," she said.
Samuel was a caring person who loved to play dominoes and remembered his old friends, Frank said. During a stint on the mainland, Samuel went to New York to work at the Automat chain of restaurants, she said.
The original Fred's stood on the current site of the First Bank parking lot, friends recalled. He later moved his bar and restaurant down the street to its present location across from Lemon Tree Mall.
Guy Benjamin lived with Samuel and his family in New York when he first moved north.
"He was there when I needed somebody," Benjamin said.
Samuel's niece, Yvonne Wells, said her uncle was a man who loved life.
Samuel was "one of the good guys," said Rich Meyer, who owns the Lime Inn in Lemon Tree Mall.
"He would help me out whenever he could," Meyer said.
The Coral Bay-born Samuel is survived by his wife, Golda Samuel, three children, Faye, Warren and Mechelle, and numerous grandchildren. Other survivors include sisters Ella Samuel-Hodge, Katherine Liburd, Gloria Samuel, Marva Applewhite, Harriett Saunders, and Gloria Scatliffe, according to Wells.
The funeral will take place March 17 at Bethany Moravian Church, Faye Samuel said. The viewing will be 9 to 10 a.m. at the church with the funeral service following. He will be buried in the Bethany cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, Faye Samuel suggested, people should make donations to the Bethany Moravian Church Housing Corp. to help fund senior citizen housing for St. John.
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